Veronica officinalis (Heath Speedwell)

Scientific Name

Veronica officinalis L.

Common Names

Speedwell, Common Speedwell, Gypsyweed, Common Gypsyweed, Heath Speedwell, Upland Speedwell, Paul's Betony


Cardia officinalis, Veronica officinalis var. officinalis, Veronica officinalis f. officinalis

Scientific Classification

Family: Plantaginaceae
Tribe: Veroniceae
Genus: Veronica


Color: Whitish blue
Bloom Time: May to August


Veronica officinalis is a herbaceous perennial with green hairy stems that grow up to 20 inches (50 cm) long, often prostrate and rooting at joints. The leaves are simple, opposite, obtuse, oblong, and narrowed at the base. Flowers are small and irregular, whitish-blue with blue streaks to violet. They crowded on spike-like racemes from axils of leaves. It is in bloom from May to August.

Veronica officinalis - Heath Speedwell

How to Grow and Care

Speedwell thrives in conditions as wide-ranging as full sun to partial shade and in loamy, sandy, or clay dense soils. However, it does prefer a sunny location with well-draining soil. The soil pH can be as liberal as neutral, alkaline, or acidic, with moisture content from average to quite moist.

The hardy, medium-sized plant, with striking 1 to 3 foot (30 to 90 cm) flower spikes, flourishes in USDA hardiness zones 3-8. The Speedwell is tolerant of a variety of conditions but prefers full sun and well-drained soil.

Speedwell can be sown from seed; however, it is more commonly purchased from a nursery, so planting it in the garden can take place right away in spring.

Speedwell plant care is relatively low maintenance. In order to facilitate maximum blooming, it is advisable to remove the faded spikes from Speedwell and periodically divide the plant every few years in the early spring or fall. See more at How to Grow and Care for Speedwell.


Native to Europe and western Asia.


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